Local News

Vandals Disrupt the Peace at Halifax Cemetery

Posted May 11, 1999

— Some of the tombstones in the Baptist Cemetery in Halifax County date back to the mid 1800s. They have made it through hurricanes, but 37 toppled tombstones could not make it through someone's cruel joke.

"I can't believe somebody could be that mean or that low to do something like that," says Myrtle Whitehead, whose husband's stone was vandalized.

"I've read about something like this in the paper, but I said it just wouldn't happen to me," Whitehead said. "You just never know."

Lt. Joe Williams says it happened Saturday or Sunday night, probably by a group of older teens because some of the stones weighed more than 2,000 pounds.

"I can't imagine what was running through their minds, other than just destruction of other people's property," Williams said.

Buddy Letchworth maintains the cemetery and says the stones will probably cost more than $8,000 to repair, but that is only half the tragedy.

"A lot of loved ones are here in this cemetery, and for someone to see all of this [destruction] is just heartbreaking," Letchworth said.

When the vandals are caught they will face 37 counts of desecrating a gravesite, plus monetary damages. However, that will not change what happened.

"I think the worst punishment they could get wouldn't be enough for them," Whitehead said.

There is a $1,500 reward in this case. Anyone who saw anything Saturday or Sunday night at the cemetery is asked to call the Halifax County Sheriff's office at252-583-8201.

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